Shavuot is a Jewish holiday celebrated every year 50 days after the holiday of Passover. What are we celebrating? Let’s go back in time more than 3,000 years. What happened then? As you remember from the Passover story, G‑d took the Jewish people out of Egypt and led them into the Sinai Desert.

After more than a month of walking through the desert, on Sivan 1, the people camped at the foot of a mountain known as Mount Sinai. They could feel that something special was going to happen. Everyone felt happier and more calm, and everyone kindly helped each other settle into their new campsite.

The next morning Moses, the leader, climbed up the mountain. There, he spoke with G‑d, who had a very important message for the people waiting below: He would make them His special people. They would do the mitzvot, His commandments, and He would love them and care for them forever.

The people were so excited that they all said, naaseh venishma, “we will do and we will hear.” As a reward, the angels came down from Heaven and gave each and every Jew two crowns to wear on their heads.

As the days passed, the people became more and more excited.

Finally, the moment arrived. On the morning of Sivan 6, everyone woke up to see Mount Siani covered with thick clouds. “Look!” they said to each other. “There is thunder and lightning, and the mountain is smoking, with flames shooting out of it.”

The people could hear the sound of a shofar that kept on getting louder and louder.

Everyone stood around the mountain. The old people were there, the little babies were there, even the souls of the people people who were not born yet (like you and me) were there.

Then they heard the voice of G‑d, who told them the first two of the 10 Commandments: “I am the L‑rd your G‑d” and “you shall have no gods besides for Me.”

But the sound of G‑d’s voice was too strong. The people asked Moses to act as G‑d’s messenger. G‑d would speak to Moses, and Moses would tell them His messages.

Through Moses, G‑d told us the rest of the 10 commandments, each of which gives us a special key to living a holy and good life.

This was a special day, one that everyone would remember forever. It was the day G‑d told them that He loved them and that they would forever be His people.

Every year, on Shavuot, we gather in synagogues to hear the 10 Commandments being read from the Torah scroll. When we do that it’s as if we are standing at Mount Sinai, hearing G‑d Himself.

And we also celebrate with dairy treats like ice cream, reminding us that Jewish life is sweet and delicious.

Happy Shavuot!